parmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage

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parmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage | the pig & quill | #grainfree #vegetarian #fall #recipe

parmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage | the pig & quill | #grainfree #vegetarian #fall #recipe
When we lived in San Luis Obispo — that is, a near lifetime ago, full of workdays ending at 4pm, leisurely evening bike rides and long morning strolls through the quaintest of downtowns (remind me why we left again?) — one of our favorite lazy Saturdays was a drive through the hills of south county, taking the seemingly less-traveled backroads past horse farms and vineyards, through sun-shattered corridors of black oaks, all the way to Pismo Beach.

Ok, full disclosure: it’s maybe a 20-minute drive, but as the saying goes, distance — or maybe just time — makes the heart grow fonder, and the nostalgic poet within is apparently wholly smitten with every detail of those carefree jaunts, efficient as they may have been.

We’d pass the time at Pismo with a nap on the sand, bread bowls of briny chowder thicker than sausage gravy — and too many instances of me charging down the pier, attempting to sneak up on seagulls and instead reeling with fear when they’d boldly stand their ground. Because apparently I was (um, am?) a hyperactive 9-year-old.

At dinner, we’d forego the trendier Pismo dining scene for the comfort of Rosa’s, a homey enclave of heirloom Italian recipes, silver-haired clientele and one Ravioli di Zucca that sang of pure comfort. At once savory and sweet, this was winter squash at its best: tucked into tender pasta and swathed in a velvety emulsion of cream and nutty cheese. And the sage. Crisp, earthy and utterly fall.

parmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage | the pig & quill | #grainfree #vegetarian #fall #recipeparmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage | the pig & quill | #grainfree #vegetarian #fall #recipeparmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage | the pig & quill | #grainfree #vegetarian #fall #recipe
While I cannot with any amount of certainty promise that these fritters can duplicate the nirvana that I associate with those leisurely days at the coast, I do find the merging of fresh, wintry squash with salty cheese and toasty sage to be…comfortably autumnal. I’m also particularly taken with the fritter format and its many snacky charms. Tender on the inside with a faintly crisped exterior and a richly frico’d aroma, I’d endorse pairing these with a creamy fall soup or allowing them to top a bed of leafy winter greens (→ jaded Californian, right here). Of course, they’re also quite lovely on their own, enjoyed straight from the pan with little more than a fork, a glass of wine, and a hurried glance at the clock to be sure one’s not caught in the act at the exact moment her husband walks through the door.

No, not that act. But I mean, it is an awfully intimate experience.

parmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage | the pig & quill | #grainfree #vegetarian #fall #recipe
Should you go the route of serving these in a more, shall we say, civilized fashion, they look rather at home on the Q Squared NYC serveware I used here, which is a combo of the timeless and elegant Ruffle Collection (both square pieces pictured) and the holiday-ready Winter’s Eve Collection (that little gingham guy in the corner). As I’ve mentioned before, Q Squared pieces fit nicely into the P&Q kitchen since they’re easy on the eyes, heavy in the hand and — because they’re melamine — durable as all heck. (You can imagine the grace with which I conduct myself around here. The word bumbling should probably come into play…) And, as a momma’s girl through and through, I’m also more than a little adoring of Nancy and Alaina, the mother-daughter duo behind Q Squared’s inception. Thoughtful ladies that they are, they’ve even offered to give P&Q readers a special 20% discount on all Q Squared orders. Just enter code PIGANDQUILL at checkout when shopping online. Lucky you!

For anyone out there who’s tried a more traditional iteration of spaghetti squash and was left wanting (insert my husband’s betrayingly transparent poker face here) I encourage you to turn to these fritters — if not for the hopelessly romantic notions I attempted to capture above (read: reliving an ethereally carefree youth) then for the fact that fried, cheesy squash makes for some unapologetically fantastic falltime eats.

parmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage | the pig & quill | #grainfree #vegetarian #fall #recipeparmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage | the pig & quill | #grainfree #vegetarian #fall #recipeparmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage | the pig & quill | #grainfree #vegetarian #fall #recipeparmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage | the pig & quill | #grainfree #vegetarian #fall #recipeparmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage | the pig & quill | #grainfree #vegetarian #fall #recipeparmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage | the pig & quill | #grainfree #vegetarian #fall #recipeThis post is sponsored by Q Squared NYC. As always, I support only those partners whose products and practices complement those employed in The Pig & Quill kitchen. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep this piggy cooking!

Receive 20% off your entire Q Squared order when you shop online and enter code PIGANDQUILL at checkout. 

parmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
By:
Makes: About 10 fritters
Ingredients
  • 3.5 - 4 cups cooked spaghetti squash, cooled (about half of one large squash, see note)
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 15-20 leaves fresh sage
  • light cooking oil for frying, such as avocado oil
  • large flake sea salt for serving
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine cooked squash, cheeses, beaten eggs and spices and mix well to combine. Let stand for 15-20 minutes to give salt time to draw water out of squash and ricotta. Lightly drain mixture.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick frypan or skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over high heat until shimmery. Add sage leaves and fry until bright green and crisp, about 30 seconds. Remove sage leaves to a paper towel to drain. Turn off heat. Reserve oil in skillet.
  3. Finely chop about half the sage leaves; reserve the remainder.
  4. When squash mixture has set and drained, stir in chopped sage.
  5. Add another drizzle of oil (to equal about a tablespoon total) to the sage oil in the fry pan and heat on med-high until just shimmering.
  6. Using a fork and spoon or two spoons, dollop generous golfball-sized portions of squash mixture into the hot oil, lightly spreading them out to about ½” thickness with a spoon. (I can get 3-4 to my pan at a time.) Cook for about 6-7 minutes, until edges are deeply browned and little steam holes appear in the fritter (as with pancakes). Using a spatula, very gently flip fritter — it will seem loose and floppy but will hold its shape if handled correctly — and cook for an additional 3 mins.
  7. Remove fritters to a baking sheet fitted with a cooling rack. If frying several batches (it takes me about three, total), you can set the sheet pan in a low oven to keep warm while you continue frying.
  8. Allow fritters to cool slightly (they'll firm up a bit) before serving them with reserved sage leaves and a generous sprinkle of flaky salt. Enjoy!
Notes
In our sans-microwave household, I've found this method pretty handy for cooking a spaghetti squash in about 30 minutes. I'll use half of the squash in a traditional preparation the first day (with fresh tomatoes, basil and salt/pepper or a simple butter-and-cheese thing) and wrap the second half in foil for the following day. After a night in the fridge, the squash is super easy to handle.
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spicy pineapple + parsley salad with avocado + chilies
cream cheese + pepper jelly (or blueberry) pop tarts

47 Comments on “parmesan-ricotta spaghetti squash fritters with crispy fried sage”

  1. Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    Eeeeeeee I’m so excited for this!! My spaghetti squash has been chillin’ on the counter, just waiting for this recipe to surface to it can be put to its BEST USE. Aka cheesy squash fritters with fried sage. Yay for fall! Thanks for sharing girl 😉

    1. Em

      Thanks goodness those hard winter squashes have long shelf lives, because I kinda took my sweetass time with this one – sorry Sara! Thanks for your patience. Can’t wait to hear if they live up to the hype (yikes!). 🙂

  2. cynthia

    oh MAN this looks so, so GOOD. Anything that has parmesan and is called a “fritter” is a good start, but squash and sage and ricotta too? YES. And the photos are absolutely s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g. (P.S. Still loooving this new look and P.P.S. 4 PM workdays? I might be crying.)

    1. Em

      Thanks so much, Cynthia! And if you think these are quality pha-toes, you should check out this one blog, Two Red Bo — oh, wait. 🙂 Seriously, coming from the master, that’s like the pot calling the kettle awesome. Or something. And yes, 4pm workdays were a blessing, but the most disgusting part was that I’d still watch the clock with all the patience of a school girl WAITING for the day to end. Talk about not appreciating a good thing when I had it!! Ah, youth…

  3. Libby

    looks SO tasty. i’m dropping everything to go do this now. well, maybe i should finish the workday first, but i’ll be doing this as soon as i can without forfeiting my job.

    1. Em

      Psh, jobs are overrated. 😉 But given the whole necessary evil thing, yes, perhaps you’re on the right track. Work now, fritters later — sigh. Thanks for the kind words, Libby!

  4. Alana

    GIRL. Everything about this screams yes. Your site looks lovely and these photos are making me hungry!!! The wait was worth it! So pumped for you. xx

    1. Em

      Thanks Alana! It only took the better half of summer. (Oops!) Hope it finally gets to be fritter weather down in LA so you can fry away — and sport all those cute layery-clothing things I know you stocked up on when you were in SF. 🙂

    1. Em

      Oh, Aida — if you do, take me with you! It’s been too long. (And — just sayin’ — if you need someone to cover it for Salt + Wind, I’d totally take one for the team, you feel me…) 😉

    1. Em

      Grace, I am so convinced we need to eat together in real life. Partly because you want to drink pop tarts (ok, not exactly what you said…) but also just because I think it’d be a delicious and humorous encounter! How can we make this happen? 🙂

    1. Em

      Ah, yes – the ol’ retire-to-SLO plan. I know it well. 🙂 Of course, if I feel old now walking around amongst all those coeds, I can only imagine how I’ll feel in 30+ years. Although that’s more of a “respect me, I’ve been here for a lot longer” old, which is pretty cool, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Pretty certain I could make do. 🙂

  5. Coley

    I loooove the idea of making fritters with spaghetti squash! And while I’m at it, I just adore your site – what a great find!

    1. Em

      Thanks, Coley! Hard to go wrong with a fritter. 🙂 Glad you meandered your way on over here — hope to see ya ’round!

  6. Alison @ Food by Mars

    These look gorgeous. I just started doing a lot more with spaghetti squash and LOVE it… and these – what a creative idea. Will have to give it a try!

    Also, lovely blog! Just came across from Food Gawker and I’m glad I did!

    1. Em

      Woohoo, missy! Spaghetti squash can do (nearly) no wrong. (I say nearly because I’ve had a pretty soupy experience with a marinara version once, but I’m trying not to hold it against the poor guy. You gotta assume every squash is going to live up to its name at least once…) So glad you found me and popped in to say hi — and expect a little lurking from me on you site later this afternoon. 🙂 (I just took a sneak peek and it’s such a pretty space!)

  7. Sherrie | With Food + Love

    Little lady love, excuse my manners but I’ve forgotten to tell you how much I LOVE the redesign. It’s adorable and beautiful and totally you. Love, love, love. These little squash fritters, yeah they look pretty and totally delicious too.

    xo sher

    1. Em

      Awh shuckasbees, Sherrie – thanks so much! ‘Twas a labor of love — unlike these fritters, which were more like a labor of hanger (is there any other kind when cooking?). Glad you stopped by to see ‘er in all her glory! <3

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  9. Alice

    Uhm, holy crap these look amazing! I had already planned out my menu for a fall-themed dinner next week.. but these are definitely going on the menu!

      1. Alice

        I made these for dinner tonight as a trial run and they turned out amazing! 🙂 Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  10. Bec

    Oh my……… Yes. I am going to make there once we enter fall (I’m down undr) so bookmarking them for another 6 months. Seems weird but I think their perfectly fall!

    1. Em

      Bookmark away! I’m usually one to procrastinate, so I can hardly imagine planning fall menus seasons in advance, but I wholly advocate other people having their crap together. Enjoy (come autumn)! 🙂

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  16. Debbie

    I made ricotta cheese yesterday and was hunting for recipes to use it in. When I saw your recipe for ricotta/spaghetti squash fritters I knew I wanted to try it. I only had pumpkin that had gone into the freezer last fall on hand and it was already thawed so I used that instead.
    I put some sage into the fritters since I didn’t have leaves for frying and ate the finished fritters with a dollop of sour cream.
    It’s an excellent recipe, even without the sour cream. I’ll bet it would be good with acorn squash too.
    Thank you so much for posting it!

    1. Em

      Whee, so happy it worked out for you, Debbie! Sounds absolutely phenomenal with pumpkin — but then any winter squash-sage-cheese combo makes me happy. (Kinda like pumpkin-filled pasta, minus the pasta…) Glad you enjoyed it!

  17. Mary Lou

    Making these tonight! Just waiting for the spaghetti squash to cool. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

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  19. Kerry H.

    I made the fritters last night… They were excellent!!
    I was looking for a good spaghetti squash recipe and this definitely filled the bill. I have bookmarked it and will definitely make them again.

    thank you! 🙂

    Kerry

    1. Em

      Thanks for the feedback, Kerry! Always love hearing when folks make a recipe in their own kitchen. It’s a little more work that the standard scoop-n’-serve style of spaghetti squash (I grew up just eating it with Ragu — also good!), but with all those cheeses, it’s definitely worth it. So glad you enjoyed!

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